My medium is the language of dance. I am a pioneer, inventor of new movement and concepts, creating
hybrids from dance languages and cultures. This is my lifelong practice. There is no dividing line between my
life and art: I am an amalgam of humankinds and movement.
Pretty Ugly Dance Company came about as a need to reveal and address what I felt were unjust and
unexplained attitudes in the world. This desire laid the foundation for the dramaturgy and subtexts of my
choreography. Also, the hierarchies often found within a dance company were eliminated in Pretty Ugly so a
greater degree of creativity and inter-dependence could be gained among dancers and allowed performers to be
more themselves. The end result was individuals sharing a stage with a sense of community – articulation of
choreography, self-discipline, and integrity brought about spontaneity and real dialogue with audiences.
I brought the same principles and practices to Matsuyama, Japan where I founded Yummy Dance, a female
collaborative and improvisational dance company. My mission there was to defy Japanese social hierarchies
and assumptions about female dance artists. By drawing from their experiences of reverence and forbidden
disobedience, the Japanese women were able to imagine, discover, and create their freedom. They were their
own eyewitnesses.
My international background continues to inform and shape my artistic values, life, and choices moving
forward. I have an insatiable curiosity and desire to be flexible and adaptable to the culture and environment I
find myself in. My work is essentially a research tool to understand and learn about humanity and the world we
live in and then transform this into dances. These discoveries are used as an instructional guide to access
peoples’ imaginations and to find ways for others to unearth their own expressive voices. I care deeply about
and focus on unlocking individuals’ artistic and authentic potentials; the intention is to achieve creative
abandonment, deconstruction, new compositions, and art.
There is no fourth wall between performers and audiences in my work, so fairness, equality, sincerity, grace,
inspiration, tension, not knowing, failure, intuition, faith, and hope are at play and experienced across the field
of those who are present. My fields are classrooms, theaters, parks, abandoned warehouses, homes, shrines,
temples, a palace, a simple room, a vast landscape – wherever an audience may be, even with only a single
My encounters with Buddhism, meeting H.H. Dalai Lama, and collaborations with Tibetan nuns and monks in
India has enriched my philosophy, practice of dance, choreography, and work in the performing arts. Listening
deeply to one’s imagination to shape intent and actions has cultivated a greater degree of creativity. Aiming to
work towards the un-attachment for the minutiae of perfection leaves space for failure and hope and directs the
search for and research into my own movement practices and authenticity. This is particularly useful when
creating dance scores, collaborating, and organizing structured improvisations because it is important to remain
spontaneous in the moment with physical rigor and self-discipline.
As a result of my Buddhist studies, my creative research and progressive teaching practices are also inspired by
questions such as, where does reincarnation take place in dance history, education, and performance? How do
impermanence, transparency, transformation, trust, confidence, self-respect and humility develop through the
creation, practice, and teaching of dance? Do they occur in the studio or performance? Is performance an
appropriate word? Is my practice in altruism supporting my transformation as a practicing artist?
Honoring lineage and acknowledging my international professional mentorships is important to me. During my
time at Deutsche Oper Berlin as a ballet dancer, having explored the underground arts scene in West and East
Berlin and the equivalency in the NYC experimental art scenes, and as a member and resident choreographer of
Ballett Frankfurt, I collaborated with intensive, inventive artists who were on the cutting edge; it was a
galvanizing era (please refer to my CV). My artistry developed and grew because of these inimitable cultures
and people. My collective, creative, experiential, theoretical, and rigorous technical learnings are shared in my
own instructional and collaborative settings. Through both successes and failures, I am sincerely grateful for all
that has been acquired and passed on to me.
Finally, I must include the importance of love in my work. This passion and energy are present wherever and
with whomever I work and create.

If we grasp onto something, it might not shift space. If we cannot shift space, we cannot move. If we
cannot move, then we are not living, breathing, or being. If we are not being, how may we be happy?
Basically, my work is about discovering our happiness through movement, and with movement being
able to share our happiness, resulting in an organic process and emotion we title/name love. It is an
undefinable sensation, feeling, instinct, and therefore we are always in the middle of it while searching
for it. It sleeps within us, and when it awakens it is euphoric.

~ Amanda K. Miller
“love being an artist/being an artist is love...”